Brain injury and pesticides increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease


Brain injury can adversely affect health in the long run, this is according to a new research. This will apply, especially if the people who suffer the brain injury lives in areas contaminated with pesticides. It is said that they will increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease as much as three times higher.

“The combination of brain injury and pesticides actually make a person at high risk of Parkinson’s disease,” said lead author of the study, Dr Beare Fielding Ritz from the UCLA’s School of Public Health.

As reported by CBS News, Parkinson’s is a neurological condition resulting in tremors (shaking), slowing of movement, stiffness in the arms or legs, and balance problems. The cause of these to happen is the loss of brain cells that produce dopamine, a naturally occurring hormone that regulates body movement tasks.

Through a study reported in the Neurology journal, researchers compared 357 people who had Parkinson’s disease to 754 normal people. All respondents came from California and were asked if they had experienced a brain injury resulting in unconsciousness for more than five minutes. The health condition of the respondents related to pesticide exposure was also observed.

Several previous studies have also mentioned that brain injury can increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Now, those results is reinforced by a recent study that combined brain injury and pesticides increasing the risk of Parkinson’s disease up to three times.

“This study proves that the physiological processes caused by the brain injury makes cells become fragile. So pesticides as toxic enters the brain,” explained Dr. Ritz.

However, Dr Andrew Feigen from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research who was not involved in the study underlines that Parkinson’s is a genetic disease. So the research of Dr. Ritz can not be concluded that brain injury is the leading cause of Parkinson’s disease.

“It’s just one of the risks. Because many people exposed to pesticide exposure do not have Parkinson’s disease, while Parkinson’s patients mostly do not frequently experience pesticide exposure,” said Dr. Feigen.